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Currency with a thousand years-long history

Currency with a thousand years-long history

The Ukrainian hryvnia currency has a thousand years-long history. Being a hexagonal ingot used for trading in the 12th century on the territories of the Kyivan Rus, it became the official currency of modern Ukraine after it regained its independence 31 years ago. 

First paper hryvnias appeared in 1918. They were designed by prominent Ukrainian artist, author of the first Ukrainian coat of arms, Heorhiy Narbut. Into his design of the hryvnia he incorporated the trident from coins used during the time of Kyiv Prince Volodymyr the Great, which later became coats of arms of independent Ukraine. 

After Ukraine restored its independence in 1991, the introduction of its own currency was vital for the young sovereign state. At first, Ukraine did not have its own capacity to produce money, so the first hryvnias were printed abroad and secretly shipped to Ukraine.

According to the National Bank of Ukraine , in 1994 Ukraine launched its own paper mill, while in April 1998 it founded its own mint. The NBU relies on state-of-the-art technologies for its hryvnia production. It has recently introduced a new technology for manufacturing banknotes from paper with embedded fibers of Ukrainian flax.

Read more about the history of the hryvnia in our special material and on the website of the National Bank of Ukraine

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